Hello everyone! How’s everyone’s week been? Well I hope you’ve been having a good week, if not maybe we will just take your problems and… “FEED THEM TO THE FIRE ANTS!”-Tim Hawkins. (click on his name to see the video)
So I been wanting to do another “Let’s Talk” ever since I published the first one. If you don’t know what I mean by “Let’s Talk” it is where I basically ask a question, give some thoughts on it, then ask you to answer it. I did this with my “Hey Christian Let’s Talk: Doctor Strange” (I'll admit it wasn't my greatest work ever) and since it’s number 2 on my Popular Posts list I though “hey let’s do another one.” So, Let’s Talk: Protagonist.
Now chances are you’re probably a writer or aspiring author. And as a writer, or aspiring author, you will have to deal with The protagonist sooner or later. So, my question is… What is your favorite kind of Protagonist?
I like to think about protagonist like leaves, no two leaves are exactly alike but they all grow from the same tree. So in one scenes we can group them into broad groups that allows for flexibility within them while still holding onto a certain starting point. Oh, and just as a warning, the names I use to describe these groups may not be their proper names so just roll with it (if you know the proper name please tell me!).
So, first up we got…
The Monster Protagonist!
These are the guys who for whatever reason have a dark past. They are hunted by something, and because of whatever it is they view themselves as monsters, or something like a monster. They want to change, to be different, but they just can’t escape the raging animal on the inside. They try to fight off the animal on the inside but they can’t seem to escape it, and they often find themselves lost to it. There is more to the Monster then just that thought, they often are longing for something. Something like a family, love, or just friends. And even if they find what they are longing for they feel like they can’t hold onto it because of the monster within that is just waiting to get out. That thing within them is what they hate most of all, and it is also their darkest joy.
They are such fun protagonist; they usually have a façade, a mask, they throw up to keep people away or to be accepted. For the most part they manifest and display anger. Under that though they are really caring. But the moment when someone threatens whatever it is they are longing for they will do anything, go to any length, to protect it. Even if it means letting the monster out, which often makes the person they are protecting reject them.
Second we have the...
The Wounded Animal Protagonist!
Like the Monster, the Wounded Animal is just like its name sake. They are hurt, sacred, in pain, and prone to lashing out in defense. These protagonists often have lost something, or someone, they cared for (hence the wound). Because of that lose they become like a wounded animal. So, they wonder about aimlessly seeking whatever they need at that time. Like a wounded animal they try to keep people away, they push people away. They often show little to no emotion, and are very skeptical about new things/people. But on the inside they long for healing. For the pain to stop.
When done right these protagonists can be heartbreakers. Because they honestly loved something/someone but then it was taken from them. And all they have, besides whatever abilities they possess, is the pain of that lose. The Monster can be combined with the Wounded Animal to make a beautifully pain filled protagonist who thinks it’s best to just be left alone. That why no one they care about will be hurt. (Sound familiar? Can anyone guess who I’m talking about? I’ll give you a hint, his well-known name starts with H.)
Next up to bat is…
The Smiling Protagonist!
This Protagonist is the kind of guy who has reached the top. He has conquered every challenge and mastered all aspects of himself (whether that be an extraordinary abilities and/or merely physical abilities). He knows he can win any fight and the is displayed in his over the top self confidence. They are usually cocky guys who wear a smirk whenever they are challenged. Why? Because they are just that good. When you reach the top, you live a carefree life because your the best and that’s what this protagonist likes. Sure, he’ll let you hit him a couple times to make you feel better, but you know it’s all over for you when you see that smile.
I usually like to see this kind of protagonist pared up with super strength. But I don’t like to see him too often. The reason is because without being mixed with another kind of emotion or backstory as to why he’s become the best he is rather a pain character.
The Hopeful/Goal Protagonist!
This protagonist is the guy who is always hopeful, who can see the good in almost anything. He has a spring in his step and a tune in his heart. He is shooting for a goal. He is traveling with a destination in mind. This is not to say they don’t go through painful experiences, because they do. But they just have that tendency to stay hopeful. They have a goal they want to reach. And they will push themselves past their limit to reach that goal.
These kinds of protagonist are fun as well. When done right they can be rather enjoyable. For is it not fun to watch/read about someone who is running to a goal and who doesn’t give up the hope of reaching it?
So, that’s four of my favorite kind of male protagonist. Now I’m not saying that these are the only kinds of Protagonist out there. Or that each of these groups must say separated. I think a great protagonist is one in which the author takes the time to create a character with his/her own personality. And that protagonist may have aspects from every category. After all, as writers/authors we are trying to create a character that feels human. And humans can't really be categorized (personality wise). So now I’ll leave the question up to you. What is your favorite kind of protagonist? Can you describe it?
And until next time, Stay True to the King!
Pictures and gifs used are not my own and neither to I clam them as such. All cried goes to their rightful owners/creators.